SRINAGAR: The over 200-year-old shrine of Dastageer Sahib was on Sunday gutted in a fire at Khanyar in Indian-administered Kashmir here Monday, triggering protests by locals.
More than a dozen firefighters battled the blaze at the Peer Dastageer Sahib shrine but the fire destroyed the shrine completely, reports said.
It is not known what caused the fire. There were no casualties, but the wooden building was seriously damaged.
Locals, angered by what they said was a slow response by firefighters, held anti-government protests.
Additional policemen were deployed after the crowd began throwing stones, damaging a fire brigade vehicle.
Police fired tear gas shells at the mob, injuring several protesters.
The sources said curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in Khanyar and surrounding areas to prevent the law and order situation from deteriorating further.
Local residents claimed that police had announced imposition of curfew in the area but a police spokesman denied the allegation. “Curfew has not been imposed anywhere in the city,” he said.
The shrine houses relics of the 12th century Central Asian Muslim saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir, the founder of the “Qadriya” branch of Sufism.
Local witnesses said the relics were safely retrieved with the help of firefighters. (BBC/web desk)